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Case Name Cremin v. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. EE-IL-0272
Docket / Court 1:96-CV-03773 ( N.D. Ill. )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Special Collection Private Employment Class Actions
Case Summary
On June 21, 1996, an individual employee filed a lawsuit on behalf of herself and other similarly situated employees against her employer, Merrill Lynch, the New York Stock Exchange, and the National Association of Securities Dealers in the United States District Court for the Northern District of ... read more >
On June 21, 1996, an individual employee filed a lawsuit on behalf of herself and other similarly situated employees against her employer, Merrill Lynch, the New York Stock Exchange, and the National Association of Securities Dealers in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The plaintiff alleged gender discrimination and pregnancy discrimination in violation of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, and the Equal Pay Act of 1963, 29 U.S.C. § 206(d). The plaintiff contended that the employer had engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination which restricted the plaintiff's access to pay, benefits, and promotions and had led to her termination. She also alleged that her supervisor had created a hostile work environment.

On February 21, 1997 the court (Judge Ruben Castillo) dismissed the counts pertaining to the New York Stock Exchange and the National Association of Securities Dealers, thus frustrating the plaintiff's efforts to avoid arbitration. The plaintiff quickly modified her complaint, however, to include these defendants again. The court (Judge Ruben Castillo) granted preliminary class certification on June 18, 1998. The class consisted of all women who were employed in Merrill Lynch's domestic Private Client Group between January 1, 1994 and June 18, 1998.

On September 2, 1998, the court (Judge Castillo) approved a settlement agreement creating a complex multi-stage arbitration process. It required the arbitrators to first consider the class based claims and then at another stage the individual claims and on the basis of the total evidence award each individual with any relief deemed appropriate so long as it was within the authority of the court to grant such relief.

Over the next eight years the roughly 900 class members pursued such relief and in some cases returned to court to contest individual issues or seek the replacement of class counsel and recoup attorney's fees.

Michael Perry - 08/05/2010


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Discrimination-area
Discharge / Constructive Discharge / Layoff
Harassment / Hostile Work Environment
Other Conditions of Employment (including assignment, transfer, hours, working conditions, etc)
Pay / Benefits
Promotion
Discrimination-basis
Pregnancy discrimination
Sex discrimination
General
Disparate Treatment
Pattern or Practice
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
Equal Pay Act, 29 U.S.C. § 206(d)
Defendant(s) Merrill Lych, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc.
National Association of Securities Dealers
New York Stock Exchange
Plaintiff Description All women who were employed in Merrill Lynch's domestic Private Client Group between January 1, 1994 and June 18, 1998.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Mixed
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 1998
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Megacases, Diversity, and the Elusive Goal of Workplace Reform
Written: Mar. 01, 2008
By: Nancy Levit (University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law)
Citation: 49 B.C. L. Rev. 367 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Second Generation Employment Discrimination: A Structural Approach
By: Susan Sturm (Columbia Law School)
Citation: 101 Colum. L. Rev. 458 (2001)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:96-cv-03773 (N.D. Ill.) 05/25/2006
EE-IL-0272-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Memorandum Opinion and Order (Dismissing defendants New York Stock Exchange and the National Association of Securities Dealers) 02/21/1997 (957 F.Supp. 1460) (N.D. Ill.)
EE-IL-0272-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | External Link | Detail
Stipulation of Settlement (portion) 06/17/1998
EE-IL-0272-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion (Permitting the findings of one arbitration hearing having preclusive effect on other hearings) 08/03/2004 (328 F.Supp.2d 865) (N.D. Ill.)
EE-IL-0272-0008.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Final Decision and Order (Third-Stage Hearing Panel) 09/30/2005 (N.D. Ill.)
EE-IL-0272-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Petition to Vacate 12/27/2005
EE-IL-0272-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion (Affirming an arbitration award of no damages) 05/25/2006 (434 F.Supp.2d 554) (N.D. Ill.)
EE-IL-0272-0007.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Castillo, Ruben (N.D. Ill.)
EE-IL-0272-0001 | EE-IL-0272-0003 | EE-IL-0272-0007 | EE-IL-0272-0008 | EE-IL-0272-9000
Monitors/Masters Jaffe, Ira F. (Maryland)
EE-IL-0272-0002
Lau, Mary A. (Florida)
EE-IL-0272-0002
Lesser, Nancy F (District of Columbia)
EE-IL-0272-0002
Plaintiff's Lawyers Axiotis, Ares Demetrius (New York)
EE-IL-0272-9000
Brown, Jeffrey Grant (Illinois)
EE-IL-0272-0002 | EE-IL-0272-0004 | EE-IL-0272-9000
Friedman, Linda (Illinois)
EE-IL-0272-9000
Glink, Shona B. (Illinois)
EE-IL-0272-9000
Jacobs, John G. (Illinois)
EE-IL-0272-0002 | EE-IL-0272-0004
Kolton, Bryan G (Illinois)
EE-IL-0272-0004 | EE-IL-0272-9000
Meites, Thomas R. (Illinois)
EE-IL-0272-9000
Mulder, Michael M (Illinois)
EE-IL-0272-9000
Rubin, Michael (California)
EE-IL-0272-9000
Stowell, Mary (Illinois)
EE-IL-0272-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Brooks, Russell E. (New York)
EE-IL-0272-9000
DeNardo, James P. (Illinois)
EE-IL-0272-9000
Dichter, Mark S. (Pennsylvania)
EE-IL-0272-9000
Jackson, Robert L III (Illinois)
EE-IL-0272-9000
Kiser, Brian Kelly (New York)
EE-IL-0272-9000
Lee, David L. (Illinois)
EE-IL-0272-9000
McDonough, Brennan S. (Illinois)
EE-IL-0272-0002
Poor, James Stephen (Illinois)
EE-IL-0272-9000
Ramsey, Christopher K. (Pennsylvania)
EE-IL-0272-0002
Reicher, Terri L. (District of Columbia)
EE-IL-0272-9000
Schaffran, Andrew J. (New York)
EE-IL-0272-0002 | EE-IL-0272-9000
Solovy, Jerold S. (Illinois)
EE-IL-0272-9000
Suskin, Howard Steven (Illinois)
EE-IL-0272-9000
Tauras, Kristin Dvorsky (Illinois)
EE-IL-0272-9000
Tomes, Jonathan P. (Illinois)
EE-IL-0272-9000
Wassberg, Catherine Patricia (Illinois)
EE-IL-0272-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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